Tag Archives: zucchini

Zucchini Parmigiana

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Let me tell you, it feels good to be sitting at a computer and NOT working!  That hasn’t happened much in the last month, as evidenced by my lack of blogging.  (And my lack of reading blogs – I have a lot of catching up to do!)

I have been cooking, I promise!  But nothing terribly exciting – lots of grilling, lots of stir-frying.

But I’m changing all that!  I want to make exciting food!  Food that is beautiful, comforting, delicious…food that feeds the body and the soul.  Okay, that was both cheesy and overdramatic, but I’m okay with it.

My Basket of Life Farm CSA has been absolutely amazing this year.  They’ve started an “add-on” program, where in addition to the standard CSA box, you can go online and purchase additional items each week.  So far, I’ve gotten some awesome cherry jam and yummy peaches.  I’m looking forward to the coffee, granola and other goodies!

I am still working through a large amount of zucchini, however.  And I’ve been craving comfort food lately – pasta, bread, soups…fall foods!  Even though it’s August, in Northeast Ohio it’s definitely been feeling like autumn.  So tonight I indulged in some comfort food – a cheesy, wonderful Zucchini Parmigiana.

I based it on Alex Guarnaschelli’s Eggplant Parmesan recipe, but used baked breaded zucchini instead of fried eggplant.  I love the tomato sauce in this recipe, and it has a ton of cheese.  Fantastic!

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For the tomato sauce, I took three candy onions (from my CSA) and thinly sliced them.  I minced 7-8 cloves of garlic and sautéed the garlic and onions together in some olive oil.  I added salt and crushed red pepper and cooked them over medium heat until the onions were soft and translucent.

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I added three 28 ounce cans of whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes and a little sugar and cooked the whole thing for about 20-25 minutes.  As it cooked, I smushed the tomatoes and just mixed it all together.  I turned off the sauce and let it cool down a bit while I made the breaded zucchini.

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I basically followed this recipe for the zucchini, except I used panko bread crumbs (it’s what I had on hand).  I used three medium zucchinis, but it would also be good with yellow or patty pan squash – or of course, eggplants!

I layered the sauce, zucchini, fresh basil, mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan cheeses until I ran out of zucchini and room in the casserole dish – ending, of course, with cheese!

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Now I only have one problem.  I ate a huge piece of it, and you can’t even tell!  I hope I can talk my sister into taking some leftovers, or I’ll be eating it for a week.  That’s not bad, don’t get me wrong!  But I still have zucchini, squash, tomatoes, apples, peppers and lettuce from my newest CSA box to use!

FYI - I got this bowl for $.50 at the flea market!

FYI – I got this bowl for $.50 at the flea market!

Now, off to catch up on my blog reading.  So happy it’s the weekend!

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A Tribute to County Fair Fried Veggies

Well, it’s county fair time again here in Northeast Ohio!  And other than people watching, the best part of a county fair is the food.  Funnel cakes, stromboli, fresh squeezed lemonade, and of course – fried vegetables.

It’s probably a good thing that I haven’t had time to get to a fair this summer – I always want to try all the fabulous fair foods!  But I was still craving those fried veggies.  So I made my own – healthier – version!

Even though these eggplant, patty pan squash and zucchini slices are baked, they taste like the fried veggies I know and love.  Plus, I’ve finally used all my zucchini!  (Until I get more on Friday…)

This baked recipe was super easy:

Slice the eggplant, squash, zucchini or whatever you plan to bread and bake.  Spray a baking sheet (or two if you have a lot of veggies) with cooking spray.  Standard breading recipe – a couple of beaten eggs in one dish and the breading in another.  For the breading, I mixed together instant mashed potatoes (I used garlic and parsley potatoes), breadcrumbs and fresh ground black pepper.  Dip each veggie slice in the egg, then in the breading.  Place on the baking sheet.  When all the breaded veggies are on the baking sheet, spray them with the cooking spray.

Bake at 450 degrees for 20 – 30 mins, flipping them after about 10 minutes.  They’re done when they’re golden brown and crispy on the outside!

And for anyone eating actual fair food – lucky you! Enjoy!

Zucchini and Ricotta Galette

Please raise your hand if you have heard of, cooked or eaten a galette.  If your hand is up, congratulations!  Your culinary education is much better than mine.  (And you may put your hands down – thanks for playing!)

Until a few days ago, I had never heard of a galette, so I had no idea what I had been missing.  I was browsing In Her Chuck’s CSA link party for the week (thanks again – I love checking out all the links!), clicked on a couple things, and eventually came to a link for this recipe from Smitten Kitchen for Zucchini and Ricotta Galette. 

A galette can be described as a cross between a free form tart and a pizza.  Apparently, they can be sweet or savory.  And , I now know, they are also delicious.

Now, I won’t tell you it’s a super easy recipe.  It’s not super difficult either, but it does have a lot of steps.  First you make the pastry dough, then refrigerate the dough.  Then  prep the zucchini, then mix the cheese filling, then roll out the dough, then put it all together – and THEN, you have to smell it cooking for 30 – 40 minutes before you can cut a big piece and eat it!

But the end result is so very worth it.

I took one bite of this and fell in love with the galette.  Yes, I have a new favorite recipe (again – I appear to have recipe committment issues).  The pastry dough is light and flaky, and the cheese filling was creamy and delicious.  I used both green and yellow zucchini both because that’s what I got in my CSA box, and because it’s pretty!

Hmmm… the rest of the galette is still sitting in the kitchen…I think I may go back for a second helping!

Roasted Veggie Pasta

Yesterday, I made the best meal yet from all our produce. Since Alycia beat me to a post about fried eggplant, I will wax poetic about the Roasted Veggie Pasta I made last night.

I found a recipe for roasting Swiss chard, and since I’ve decided I’m not a huge fan of sauteed Swiss chard, I decided to try the new recipe. The idea is that the chard is really two vegetables; the leaves and the stalks. Here is a basic translation of what I did.

1 large bunch Swiss chard, well rinsed and dried, ends trimmed
1 TBSP olive oil
1 or 2 TBSP heavy whipping cream
Crushed garlic to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese, if desired

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

1. Separate the leaves from the stalks by ripping or cutting the stalk out of the leaves. I folded the leaves over to one side of the stalk and cut them off the stalk.
2. Cut the stalks into half inch pieces and place in a 9x13x2″ baking dish. Drizzle 1 TBSP olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Roast stalks in the oven until browned and softened, about 20 mins.
4. Meanwhile, tear or chop chard leaves into smallish pieces. This is personal preference because you might like bigger leaves as a side dish. I knew I was putting it into pasta, so I made smaller bites.
5. When stalks are done, reduce oven to 350 degrees. Place leaves on top of stalks and cover. Bake 5-7 minutes.
6. Stir leaves and stalks. Add the heavy cream and garlic and stir (this is when I added the garlic. You should probably add it earlier, but this is when I thought, “Hey, garlic might be good”.) Cover and roast 5-7 minutes or until cream is bubbly and leaves are wilted.
7. Add Parmesan cheese and stir. Bake 5 minutes or until cheese is melty.

That was the end of the recipe I tried. They meant to use it as a side dish, but I wanted it in pasta!

While all that was happening, I cut up two golden zucchini, one green zucchini, one eggplant, and one white eggplant into small pieces. I tossed them with olive oil, salt and pepper. I baked them at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes, stirring every so often.

Meanwhile, I cooked a bag of Ohio City Pasta that I had gotten at the West Side Market. I then tossed it with all the roasted veggies, olive oil, and more Parmesan cheese. We also had some white cheddar and chive chicken sausage, which was an excellent compliment to all that olive oil and cheese!

That giant white spot on the sausage? Melted, gooey white cheddar. Oh, so good!

So, I took my U-Haul to Alycia’s house….

Here’s the picture text I got today:

This week’s pick-up included Swiss chard, bok choy, peas, green beans, broccoli, eggplant, white eggplant, golden zucchini, regular zucchini, really ugly carrots, three kinds of peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Here is my half. Half!